1. Purpose

This policy provides the approach and commitment of South East Water to deliver safe and high quality drinking water to its customers. 

2. Scope of policy

This policy applies to South East Water and its subsidiary, Iota Services Pty Ltd, and is observed by all directors, employees, agents, contractors, and other workers. 

3. Policy statement

We’re committed to delivering safe, high-quality drinking water to support and enhance our communities and environment. South East Water will supply its customers with drinking water that satisfies the requirements and quality standards of the Safe Drinking Water Act 2003 and the Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2015 and that is consistent with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011.

What we’re committed to

  • Managing water quality at all points along the process of delivery from Melbourne Water, Yarra Valley Water or Greater Western Water interface points to customers
  • Purchasing bulk water from a reliable supplier, putting systems in place that monitor the quality of this supply, and using accredited laboratories to verify drinking water quality standards are being met
  • Maintaining a risk management plan and adopting a risk-based approach to identify, manage and regularly review potential risks associated with water quality
  • Ensuring that our water supply assets perform adequately and are appropriately maintained and operated
  • Undertaking routine water quality monitoring programs, publishing the results from these monitoring programs, and responding to customer enquiries on drinking water quality in a timely manner
  • Maintaining customer confidence in the water supply system and its management
  • Integrating the needs and expectations of our customers, stakeholders, regulators, and employees into our planning
  • Operating and supplying our services with an understanding of how to manage and respond to an incident should it occur
  • Utilising customer insights relating to water quality to continuously improve service delivery to customers.
  • Participation in appropriate research and development activities to maintain performance and understand emerging drinking water quality issues
  • Influencing the setting of industry regulations and guidelines, and other standards relevant to public health and the water cycle
  • Continually improving practices by assessing performance against corporate commitments, internal targets, external indicators and stakeholder expectations and requirements
  • Ensuring adequate resourcing and training for employees and contractors to ensure the management of drinking water quality
  • Subject our water quality management systems and practices to regular internal and external audits.
4. Related policies
  • Asset Management Policy
  • Quality Policy
  • Compliance Policy
  • Risk Management Policy
5. Legislation and related documents
  • Safe Drinking Water Act 2003
  • Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2015
  • Australian Drinking Water Guidelines 2011
  • Water Act 1989 (Vic)
  • Bulk Water Supply Agreement
  • Drinking Water Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan
  • Product Risk Overarching Document
6. Accountability

The Board of Directors is responsible for approving this policy and monitoring its effectiveness.

The Managing Director is accountable to the board for reporting on the effectiveness of the policy.

The Managing Director and Executive Leadership Team are responsible for reflecting South East Water’s drinking water quality obligations in business and resource planning, operational activities and reporting.    

The General Manager of Service Delivery is accountable to the Managing Director for the management of drinking water resources, operations, treatment, and distribution and is responsible for directing, reviewing, and reporting upon the implementation of the Drinking Water Quality Policy.

Managers and Team Leaders involved in the supply, monitoring and maintenance of drinking water and the assets needed to provide it are responsible for understanding, implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving the drinking water quality management system.

The Drinking Water HACCP team is responsible for maintaining up to date knowledge and technical competence, conducting reviews of drinking water quality hazards analysis, maintaining an internal and external audit program and development of the HACCP Plan.

All employees are responsible for understanding and complying with relevant South East Water policies, guidelines and processes in a manner that safeguards drinking water.  

7. Approval

Approved by: South East Water Board of Directors

Approved on: 23 October 2023

Sponsor: General Manager, Service Delivery

Implementer: Water Quality Manager

Review date: 1 November 2023